By Patty Wilber
On Thanksgiving Day, the grand daughters (and their mom, Maegan and dad, Rick) flew with us to California where we met up with our son Mark and his wife Erika and the rest of my immediate family! Very few of my pictures are any good, so I will spare you that.
What a great time we all had together! I slept a lot more than normal and did not enjoy the Thanksgiving food as much as I usually do, but fortunately, by Saturday, when we have our traditional Dim Sum feast, I felt good, and was able to chow down with the best of them!
Being home brought back memories of horses. All through high school I leased Tennessee Walking Horses for 14 dollars a month! I made friends with the barn owner who rescued and bred Tennessee Walkers (no built up shoes–all our horses were shod like the local quarter horses). I ended up getting to ride over 50 horses throughout high school. I also got to start my first filly (Bow’s Easter Bunny) and show her on the Walking Horse circuit.
That horse had a great personality, but was not especially talented. I don’t think I ever won anything, except maybe trail or the water glass class, but, hey, I did earn a Youth Versatility Award! OH we did win a western pleasure class at a local show with 24 entries! I picked up the wrong lead going left and the judge did not see it before I fixed it. Some parent was quite mad about that. I remember that because we just did not win much! I had a terrible cold and my mom was mad that I went. Out of frustration, as I was walking out the door, she said something like, “If you get pneumonia, I am not taking you to the doctor!” Turns out it was walking pneumonia! Of course, she took me to the doctor!
I always wanted to train horses, but I did not have a clue how to make it my job, so I stuck with my love for science and got a lot of degrees in Wildlife and Biology, working with collared peccaries and Townsend’s ground squirrels. I then got a job teaching biology at Central New Mexico Community College.
I clearly train now, but I never have trained as my sole occupation. Sometimes I wish I had gone down that path…but on the other hand, I love having just a few horses in training (usually–I have none in training right now as I am on the chemo break) and my own horses at my own house that I can use for hunting or camping or showing or just hanging out with.
Right now, my horses are providing great therapy! This Wednesday I was riding Lucy on our property at dusk. Can’t really beat the NM sky!
Thursday, I started my new chemo regime. Weekly for 12 weeks (except I am skipping Dec. 22 to better to enjoy Christmas in Tennessee!) This round is supposed to be less taxing than the last round (Yay!), so maybe I can start riding a few more horses soon! Of course, I was at the cancer center from 8 am to 4:30 pm today for the treatment, so….that was a long time! These new drugs require more monitoring as they are being delivered because the nurse must watch for infusion or allergic reactions (Just think of all the drug ads–side effects may include…death. Great, not dying from cancer–getting killed by the treatment–survived this round!) My nurse was a former student that was in one of my favorite classes of all time, so that was fun!